Haute Provence Cycletour

Thursday 9 July 2009
Took the plane to Geneva, where we collected our bikes from bikeswitzerland. Light and sturdy, with bar bags, bottles to keep, and twist grip gears, low ratios included for the cols.

Because of engineering works, we cant get the train straight to Grenoble where our journey starts, and have to find the way to Annemasse for get a train from there, a cunning plan which took the best part of a day on the internet to conceive back home.

At Annemasse, grave doubts about the viability of the plan, when we discover that some of the ‘trains are in fact, buses. But some of the trains are trains too. We found that TER trains are some of the best at taking your bike, although provision is not always very suitable, even when there is a bike logo. The best place to put them is where there is a wheelchair sign, (unless wheelchairs need to get on)

On another part of the journey, there are some mysterious hooks pointing in the wrong direction in a very small cubicle marked for cycles. We heave and haule and wriggle and thrutch and still can’t get the bikes on the hooks. Even the 2 guards don’t know how to do it. There is nowhere to put them that does not block the passage on this busy train.

Drawing into Grenoble, we see the Hotel Alize from the window, right by the tracks. They will store the bikes, which is great, but other things are not quite so great. The room is quite shabby but the funniest thing is the quaking shower cabinet resembling a tardis but one that might fall apart if you sneeze. The advantage of a roasting hot room is that all your clothes dry ready for next day


This is my lugggage for the 10 days – a Carradice Longflap bag


We might be lost in Geneva, but we’ve found some great graffiti


The Swiss Bike, with Jims Brooks Saddle, waiting to get on the train to Grenoble


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The ensuite shower at the hotel, showing the ingenious fixing to the ceiling

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